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Pakistani man arrested in UK is reportedly TDAP scam accused Farhan Junejo

LONDON: A political figure from Pakistan was arrested by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) in connection to money laundering investigation on Monday.

Sources confided to ARY News that the man arrested by the UK authorities is Farhan Junejo, who is wanted in money laundering case related to the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP). He was also said to be the front man of then federal commerce minister Makhdoom Amin Faheem (late).

According to the NCA, “Officers from the NCA’s International Corruption Unit have arrested a former ‘Pakistani Politically Exposed Person’, aged in his 40s, and his wife, aged in her 30s, in connection with alleged money laundering in the United Kingdom believed to be the result of corruption in Pakistan.”

Junejo, director to the former minister for industries and trade Makhdom Amin Faheem, had allegedly transferred Rs250 million of corruption money through hawala and hundi, which are illegal methods of transferring money.

Farhan Junejo was a grade-18 government officer and he was appointed on deputation in the federal ministry of industries and trade, where he worked as director to the minister from 2009 to 2012.

In 2013, FIA said that Farhan transferred Rs250 million to his bank account in Dubai. The money was later transferred to his mother’s account in Switzerland, two of his wife’s accounts plus his sister and his joint account in UK, and his brother’s account in USA.

The NCA says the probe was supported by Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau and the Federal Investigation Agency. “The couple, who were arrested in Surrey, owns a UK property portfolio worth more than £8m for which they appear to have no legitimate source of income.”

The man and his wife were questioned by the NCA officers and have now been released under investigation, the crime agency said.

It is pertinent to mention here that former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gillani and 26 others were indicted by anti-corruption court on March 29, 2018 in cases pertaining to misuse of power and corruption at TDAP.

Among those indicted were Tariq Iqbal Puri, Abdul Karim Dawood Pota, Muhammad Zubair, Adnan Zaman, Younus Rizwani, Javed Anwar, Najamul Haq Mirza Karim Baig, Sohail Mehmood, Farhan Junejo and Asim Rizwani.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan and the UK jointly announced a justice and accountability ‘initiative’ between the two countries aimed at repatriating “the looted wealth of the country”.

The initiative — which the duo insisted will not target individuals but is a broader arrangement between the two governments to collaborate for the elimination of a variety of crimes — was launched during the British home secretary’s official visit to Islamabad.

The ‘initiative’, earlier reported to be an ‘agreement’ but described by the government as only a ‘declaration’, is aimed at tackling corruption and “making it a priority for both governments

“The aim of this declaration is to bring back the looted wealth of the country,” Shahzad Akbar, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability, said, adding: “The agreement on exchange of convicted personnel will also be renewed.”

In May 2018, the NCA had said in a statement: “The UK is a prime destination for corrupt foreign Politically Exposed Persons to launder the proceeds of corruption, particularly those from Russia, Nigeria and Pakistan.”

“Investment in UK property, particularly in London, continues to be an attractive mechanism to launder funds. The true scale of PEPs’ investment in the UK is not known, however, the source countries that are most commonly seen are Russia, Nigeria and Pakistan,” it added.

Under a new anti-corruption provision, the NCA said it is investigating money-laundering linked to the assets held by an unnamed foreign politician worth nearly£22 million. It secured two unexplained wealth orders to investigate in January.

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